Town beat Redditch 2-0
By Mark Bickley
Town move up to 9th after comfortable home win.
Match Report by Kevin Hand , Photographs by Granty
Stratford Town v Redditch FC Saturday 22 September, 2018 3.00pm in the EvoStik Premier Central League at the Arden Garages Stadium.
Stratford 2 Redditch 0 (HT2-0)
• The better part of valour is discretion
With Head of Football, Thomas Baillie, in attendance Steve Walker and Nathan March declared themselves well satisfied with 3 points and a clean sheet in an emphatic win over neighbours Redditch.
With the same starting eleven as the Bedworth game Town started in determined fashion as they played towards the golf course end. Within 2 minutes Skendi won the ball in midfield and then released Will Grocott on the left. His floated cross seemed certain to reach the head of Carvalho but the brave ex-Town keeper,Connor, punched clear being injured in the collision. Carvalho was somewhat harshly adjudged to have fouled the keeper.
The game then settled into a battle for midfield supremacy with the Town boys gradually asserting. Westwood shot over, Grocott nearly played Wilson in, Cox sent in a dangerous cross and Will Grocott, again, danced his way deep into the Redditch area before being dispossessed.
On 25 minutes the game burst into life when Connor dealt badly with a poor backpass spooning the ball in the air. Taylor reacted swiftly heading the ball goalwards. It landed on the roof of the net with the keeper back pedaling furiously. Connor’s collision with the net led to a 5 minute stoppage for repairs.
After the break Town continued to press and won a free kick on right. On 33 minutes Grocott’s precise cross was met by the unmarked Taylor, who scored with the simplest of headers. Straight after the restart Taylor burst through the middle and both he and Connor were injured in a 50/50 tussle. Shortly afterwards (38 minutes) and Town’s advantage was doubled. A Grocott corner was nodded down by McAteer and Jordan Williams poked home from close range.
The half was played out with Stratford in complete control.
Within 5 minutes of the restart Town might have gone further ahead, Connor denying first Wilson and then Carvalho. Skendi and captain, Jimmy Fry, were winning the midfield battle but in doing so both conceded yellow cards. It was no surprise when they were both withdrawn from the fray. The influential Will Grocott was also substituted to be replaced by Ross Oulton who quicky impressed with some measured passing.
In his first appearance of the season Eli Bako had two chances to make a name for himself. The first he fluffed with poor control in the area. The second he was unfortunate when a wicked curling shot crashed against a post with no-one on hand to follow up.
The game was concluded with few if any scares for Town. Etherington was massive in goal and both Westwood and Cox impressed. The game was well managed by referee, Richard Cattell, and his two assistants.
Not a classic game but consecutive victories was very pleasing. The positive murmurs from the terraces was qualified by a perceived need for a better ‘first touch’ and a more precise ‘final ball.’ There was general delight to see Ben Stephens in the crowd and just one week away from fitness and a possible Macclesfield debut.
• The better part of valour is discretion. King Henry 1V part 1 Act 5 Scene 4
• Marston man of the Match – Chris Cox presented by Town Legend Ben Stephens
• Next Up; Rushall Olympic (A) 3.00pm Saturday 29 September EvoStik Premier